Tuesday 31 March 2020
Recently,"The Love of a Lifetime" by mid-60s Scunthorpe group The Dimples has become my brain's hold music. So many mundane tasks (ok...mainly hand washing!) have been accompanied by me singing a rotten version of it. I suspect that some 60s R&B/Mod purists might be a little sniffy about its sweet sentiments and bubblegum catchiness. That's their loss as it's utterly charming and would entice Not Unloved onto the dancefloor any day of the week.
Friday 27 March 2020
Not a French (or, for that matter, French-Canadian) group despite the name, Les Baroques hailed from the Netherlands. This 7" found its way into the Not Unloved singles box as it scratched the Nederbeat itch I'd been feeling since discovering recently that a) The Selfkick's "Gosh, I'm Your Woman Not Your Wife" had thee most crazed, amphetamine-pumped noise breakdowns of any song produced on the continent of Europe in the 60s (if you know of any other contenders for that mantle please leave a comment!) and that b) at 250+ quid for a decent copy, Not Unloved will never be able to afford The Selfkick's "Gosh, I'm Your Woman Not Your Wife". "Such A Cad" is a chirpy singalong tale of a "lost" young fella snogging every other girl in town - including his best friend's girlfriend...the rotter! - because the girl he really wants doesn't want him back. Bonus points for the yob-like drawl on "am I".
Wednesday 25 March 2020
A recent Twitter exchange got me thinking about cool records that are still available for buttons on discogs or ebay. One enjoyable, cheap-on-discogs 7" is "Waitin' Just For You" (Twang!, 1988) by German group The Curlettes. As with yesterday's 45 by The Photographs, it was the only record to bear their name which is a shame as it's a perky singalong which would've been Indiepop Tape Swap gold had I heard it at the time.
Tuesday 24 March 2020
In all the years I took part in the Indiepop List Tape/(CD-R) Swap nobody saw fit to put "Second Best" by Bristol's The Photographs on one of their mixes for me so I was unaware of its existence until a few weeks ago when it popped-up on a trusted seller's sales list. An outrageous state of affairs! Mind you, it's from 1979 so possibly gets grouped with power pop or even post-punk. Whatever, it's the kind of record that'll always turn my head. Does it rock? No, not really. Is it on the cute side? Yes, absolutely and there's something inexplicably great about the way the singer draws out "Midnight is our houuuurrrrr". If discogs is any guide, this was the sole outing for The Photographs so their back catalogue is guaranteed to be 100% dud free. I love it when bands make one cool single then...nothing...
As one half of ISAN, Robin Saville was partly responsible for one of the greatest 7" singles of all time (a bold claim but I'm standing by it!): "Damil 85" (Wurlitzer Jukebox). His latest solo lp, "Build A Diorama" (Morr Music), was released a month or so back and boasts some of the most brain-soothing pastoral excursions to reach Not Unloved's blasted ears in recent years. There are bell-like tinkles aplenty (see "Bosky" and "Might I Have A Bit of Earth?"). If anyone wishes Raymond Scott were still around to make soothing sounds for babies, they should get acquainted with "Build A Diorama" immediately. Check out the adorable stop-motion video for the stately, gliding "Bojagi" for a perfect meeting of sound and image.
Thursday 19 March 2020
Growing up in the west of Scotland in the '80s, it was almost obligatory to be into heavy metal. The local Our Price would display the top 10 national and local albums in the window each week. On the local albums chart there would be all these names that meant nothing to me like Dio, Lita Ford or Dokken. 35 years on and I'm finally into "Heavy Metal"...the Cindy Lee (Patrick Flegel of the group Women's other project) song, that is. A month back, based on a distracted skim-through, I decided not to buy the "What's Tonight to Eternity" lp (W.25th). Thankfully, a friend's evangelism/surprise at my dismissal of it (cheers, C!) ensured that I listened again more closely. "Heavy Metal" quickly became my favourite track. It closes the record on an affecting, chills-giving but luminous note. It's sure to be used to touching effect in a movie at some point and when it is I'll be the one hoping the house lights don't come up too quickly...
Thanks to some Covid-19-enforced time at home, Not Unloved has been getting reacquainted with some recent-ish buys. "All My Nights, All My Days" by The Breakers has all the elements to make it a 60s girl group classic: the dreamy lead vocal, the swaying backing singers, the romantic/affectionate lyrics etc.. Sure, it's sung by a fella but that doesn't change anything does it? Oh, and how sweet is that middle section where the singer sings from inside a watering can before breaking into a falsetto? Top stuff.
Wednesday 18 March 2020
Lately, the old fool known to a few as Not Unloved has fallen head over heels in L.O.V.E. love with The G-Men's 1969 opus "Il Canto Dei Ragazzi". I dread to think how many times I've listened to the YouTube clip, below. One of these days I'll actually make the time to play the 7" I bought but for now, YouTube it is. I love it for many of the same reasons (the atmospheric deployment of wah-wah pedal, the restrained rhythm, the cracking lead vocal) that I love The Action's dazzling "Brain". Usually, it's the brief garage thumpers or sunshine pop swingers that find favour here but I guess years of listening to the Japanese guitar blasters (Haino, Kurihara, Batoh et al) has paved the way for me to, finally, really feel the odd tune with a slightly extended guitar solo. Shocker!